Academic journal article K@ta

Metaphorical Expressions Used in Foods Products Advertisements and Their Inferences

Academic journal article K@ta

Metaphorical Expressions Used in Foods Products Advertisements and Their Inferences

Article excerpt


Advertisers make use of advertisements in promoting their products. Through the advertisements they attempt to inform publicly about their special products and the excellence of their products over others. Among the various advertised products, foods products are often found in many kinds of media. It might be because food is human's primary need, so that advertisers often advertise the foods products to inform readers what kinds of foods they might need to buy. Therefore, this article is aimed to investigate the advertisements of foods products. The term 'foods products' here refers to foods and food ingredients as well.

Since there are a great number of advertisements in the society, advertisers must be able to make their advertisements directly known by the readers who might become the prospective buyers of the products sold. Besides, the advertisers also have to put the advertisements in such a limited span that they could economize the cost of the advertisements. For this reason, the advertisers need to link the advertised product with something that people already know so that the advertised product can be recognized and remembered easily. Therefore, the advertisers like to use metaphors in advertisements because metaphor refers to language use that explains something other than what it literally means through the comparison of two things to make a connection between them (Knowles and Moon, 2006, p. 3). This comparing characteristics of metaphor is the same as what the advertisers need; no wonder metaphors are often used in advertisements.

The topic of metaphor is chosen in this research because metaphor is found in advertisements (Cook, 2001) and is unique. Metaphor can be considered as an extraordinary language that is only used as poetic rhetoric by poets; however, in fact it is also an ordinary language since metaphor is "pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action" (Lakoff and Johnson, 1996, p. 3). Because metaphor is very closely related to humans' everyday life, it is not surprising that "a contemporary advertising contains many metaphors" (Forceville, 1996, p. 67). Because advertisers like to use metaphors, advertisements contain a great deal of metaphorical expressions. For this reason, metaphorical utterances, specifically the ones used in foods products become the topic of investigation in this article with the following two questions: 1) What are the target and source domains of the metaphorical expressions used in the advertisements? 2) What inferences can be extracted from the mapping of the source domains on the target domains?

By reading this article, it is expected that readers would get some contributions. First, it is expected that readers would get the knowledge that advertisements contain not just literal meanings but also non-literal ones since they contain metaphors and inferences. Second, it is expected that this article could inspire those who are majoring in linguistics, to know more about advertisement messages.


Metaphor refers to creative language use by connecting two resembled things to result in a different meaning. Metaphorical utterances form new meanings because they cannot be interpreted literally and they are thought provoking. In relation to individual words, metaphor is "a basic process in the formation of words and word meanings" (Knowles and Moon, 2006, p. 4).

Forceville (1996, 2008) mentions that a metaphorical statement has two distinct subjects: target and source domains. Lakoff and Johnson (1980) and Forceville (2008, p. 464) state that "verbal metaphors of various syntactic forms are manifestations of a conceptual metaphor that can be captured in a paradigmatic A IS B format". Though there are two main types of metaphor, namely conceptual and nonverbal metaphors, this article is limited on the discussion of conceptual metaphors because these conceptual metaphors use language for the target and source domains so that they are generally used in advertisements which often make use of words to gain attention. …

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